We were up early Monday morning (a bank holiday BTW) for breakfast and to get on the proverbial road for the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. It only happens 3x a week and Monday was a best day. We used Google Maps on our phones to efficiently navigate the London Underground subway. Good old Earl’s Court Station to St. James station. I think we got pretty good using public transit that whole week.
We tried to get to the palace by 10 AM to beat the crowds, but there were a lot of people there already. We pressed up against the gates and watched this slow buildup to the big changing. It goes slowly for 40+ minutes, then a band and men on horses arrive to switch. It was a lot of pomp and circumstance but meh.
We walked through the park and grounds to pick up our 3 day London Passes. Turns out, you have to use them on consecutive days – no taking breaks, so we decided to wait until we had full days beginning Tuesday. We walked around London neighborhoods checking out the sights. We tried to get fish and chips at some restaurant that Lily picked out in Marylebone but it was a long way there. Arrived and it was closed for the bank holiday! We walked back looking for another restaurant. We found another place but out of fish. More walking. Finally found a bar that had burgers and fish. Phew!
We did more walking then made our way back to Buckingham Palace for our 4 PM walking tour of the palace. It’s a self-guided tour of the main floor using these portable listening devices and screens. Very fancy in there.
We took the bus later to the Westminster Abbey area for coffee, snacks, and another walking tour of Harry Potter filming locations, with a little bit of history sprinkled along the way. Around 9 PM, we got a bit tired and hungry, so we tipped our tour guide, left the tour early for an Indian dinner as The Delhi Brasserie in SoHo. I also had to go to the restroom (or “toilets”) before the tour started before I caused an international incident. It was epic. 😉
Very good food, but we were done for the night. Lots of walking and all still suffering from jet lag. We took the subway back to the hotel.